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Ordain Women? Surprise proposal at Vatican Synod

Ordain Women? Surprise proposal at Vatican Synod

From Religion News Service:

(RNS) The most controversial proposal floated so far at the high-level, high-stakes Vatican summit on church teachings on the family had nothing to do with gays or divorce, but instead ordaining women — not as priests, but as deacons.

Still, even that suggestion — made by a Canadian archbishop on Tuesday (Oct. 6), near the start of the closely watched, three-week synod called by Pope Francis — was considered eye-popping.

That’s because if the trial balloon floated by Quebec Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher flies, it would represent a historic breakthrough for the Catholic Church, and Catholic women, by giving them access to the kinds of offices that only priests and bishops can hold.

Read the reasons for and against at Religion News Service


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Anne G. Lynch

Actually, the West German Roman Catholic bishops conference voted in favor of re-introducing the historic practice of ordaining women as deacons. This had been common in the Holy Roman Empire up until the Reformation. Many diocese had a church consecrated to Mary located beside or near the cathedral. It was in the hands of an order of women deacons, not nuns. There is some ambiguous evidence that a few of the older leaders had been ordained as priests. I had hoped that Pope Benedict would follow through on this proposal, which was sent to Rome while he was an active prelate in Germany.

Bern Schwartz

I studied Theology at the University of Louvain, Belgium in 1975/76. During those years, there were three IHM Sisters sent by their Order in Michigan to get their PhD’s in Theology in anticipation of Rome allowing women to be ordained. They were wonderfully spiritual people who would have lived and preached the Gospel and saved many souls in the process. I only pray that the Catholic Church can represent the gospel of Christ as he would, and open their hearts and minds to Ordained Women.

Rod Gillis

Good for Archbishop Durocher. Of course, Durocher is doing what Pope Francis hopes others will do, and that is, utilize church forums to give progressive ideas some voice and traction.

The trial balloon of female deacons doesn’t just have Durocher’s name on it. There are some scholarly works available on the subject of female deacons; but its not just scholarly research or pontifical punditry that is paving the way for change. Roman Catholic dioceses, lacking priests, have been using parish administrators, many of those laity and nuns, for decades.

I once invited a Roman Catholic nun/hospital chaplain
(employed by the hospital) to preach in our parish during a Week of Prayer for Christian unity service. Several R.C. parish priests came out to show the flag for her. While the possibility of female permanent deacons will be feared by conservatives as a “thin edge of the wedge”, some of the ground for change is being tilled.

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